Thursday March 31, 2011 | 07:52 AM

It can get tense here in Fort Myers at the end of March. The Red Sox are close to setting their minor league rosters, which mean some players are going home, or hooking on with another team. reported a few more cuts, including pitcher Ryne Miller and outfielder Bryan Peterson. Peterson, 21, an 11th-round draft pick out of high school in 2008, came up to Portland last year as a fill-in, playing five games.

Miller, 25, was an undrafted player who drew attention in 2009, reaching Portland and recording a 2.75 ERA. He was invited to the exclusive Red Sox rookie camp in the off-season. But Miller returned to earth in 2010, with a 6.43 ERA.

The riches-to-rags story is a familiar one in minor league baseball. We look at that phenomenon in today's baseball column, which features Jason Place. And check out the notebook for other news.

Among the areas that need trimming is the Pawtucket outfield. Currently, there are seven (counting outfielder/first baseman Aaron Bates). The other six are Ryan Kalish, Josh Reddick, Daniel Nava, Juan Carlos Linares, Bubba Bell and Matt Sheely. All are former Sea Dogs.

In Boston's exhibition win over Houston Wednesday night, Josh Beckett looked strong (5 IP, 1 H, 3 K), which was a relief; but the bullpen also gave up no runs. Josh Papelbon pitched a perfect eighth (1 strikeout).

And Blake Maxwell recorded one more scoreless inning, allowing one hit. Maxwell is expected to return to the Sea Dogs for a third season. But he has been stellar this spring.

While the Red Sox begin their season Friday, others start today, including the Yankees. See the Daily News for a look at the Pinstripes.

I will report back later today if there is news out of the minor league camp.


About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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